CITIZENS FOR A BETTER RIDGEWOOD, INC.

A huge thank you to all of the residents who came to the Planning Board meeting on Thursday night and participated in our planning process.   It was fantastic to see such a large crowd!
Next Meeting:  THIS Tuesday, February 3rd at 7:30 pm at Ridgewood High School 
Residents who were not able to speak last Thursday will be allowed to get up to the podium and comment. Time limit will be three minutes.
Public Hearing Recap:
  •          We heard many heartfelt and thoughtful statements.  Most of the participants at the mic seemed to favor the addition of some new housing options in our downtown. (So do we!)  Not one resident stood before the Board and said, “Do nothing.”
  •          Many of the comments from residents emphasized the need for modern housing options for empty nesters looking to downsize.
  •         Several members of the public, mostly business or property owners in the CBD, fully embraced the amendment as currently written (up to 40 – 50 units an acre).
  •         However, many participants seemed in favor of a taking a more reasonable and responsible approach to development. Suggestions included approving just one of the developments, scaling back the allowable density, or restricting development to buildings that accommodate residents 55 years and older.
  •         Many residents suggested allowing a moderate increase in density to somewhere between 20 – 26 units an acre, an approach that certainly seems reasonable and more cautious.
  •         As an underlying concern, many residents brought up the overall lack of parking in our CBD. This is a concern that even in the midst of a multi-family hearing, was front and center in the discussion.
Next Steps:
 
Meeting on Thursday, February 19:
The lawyers representing the developers, as well as the lawyer representing CBR, will give final closing statements.  After this, the public hearing will be closed.
Meetings to Deliberate
The Planning Board will deliberate the amendment and discuss how best to move forward.  We can listen in and attend these meetings, but will no longer be allowed to participate or offer input.
Meeting to Vote on Proposed Amendment
When they are done discussing this amendment, they will vote. We are not sure when this will occur but will keep you informed.
Thank you for your continued support!
Hope to see you on Tuesday.

 

 

 Please read the report prepared by our town planner, Blais Brancheau. His report supports increasing the density in and around our CBD. He cites guidelines set forth by Sustainable NJ and NJ Transit to support this amendment.  

Master_Plan_Memo_Report_October_31_2014

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We believe it should be the mission of the Village Council to encourage                    development that promotes a healthy and vibrant downtown community while ensuring that Ridgewood remains a wonderful and exciting place to live, work, play and visit.  In order to achieve this, our Village must go about planning in a comprehensive manner.  Comprehensive planning typically encompasses a larger area, a broad range of topics and covers a long-term horizon. Comprehensive planning is strategic and visionary. Public participation is essential! Right now Ridgewood is undertaking piece-meal planning, not considering other issues (like parking, schools, services) and there seems to be zero vision.  We deserve better.

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 Citizens for a Better Ridgewood…

  • Favors economic growth for our downtown
  • Favors new housing that is appropriate in scale
  • Favors new housing designated for empty nesters and special needs residents, where there is an established need
  • Favors new parking solutions that support commerce
  • Favors more open space and athletic fields for our youth sports

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1)    Please read the Legal Report prepared by our Counsel  that was  submitted to the Planning Board in October 2013.  The report outlines our concerns with altering our Master Plan to allow for higher density zoning.

Legal Report 

2)          Please read the Planning Report prepared by our Professional Planner that was presented to the Planning Board in March 2014 for a comprehensive review of the implications of allowing higher density zoning. 

Planner’s report

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Mark your calendar!

Please attend the next Planning Board meeting!

When: January 6th, 7:30PM

Where: RHS Student Center

Agenda:  Public will listen in as the board  continues to question our Village planner.  When they are finished, our attorney will get to question the planner.

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Please understand that…

• CBR, Inc. continues to attend Planning Board meetings with a lawyer and professional planner to encourage the PB to proceed cautiously with any high-density zoning changes.

• CBR, Inc. hopes that all of our efforts for the past 20 months will somehow influence our PB and that they will consider the long-term consequences when they create a new zone. We respect our PB members and have tried to present a calm and thoughtful perspective.

• CBR, Inc. has never tried to shut down development in our town. We recognize the importance of progress and realize that thoughtful development, guided by research and thorough studies, is essential in helping any community move forward.

• CBR, Inc. is wary of planning that is driven by stakeholders with little input from the community. As a result of the Village of Ridgewood Ordinance 3066, our villagers have little say in a process that is set up to benefit those who have the most money to hire the best lawyers, planners and experts.

• We would like to see this ordinance overturned by our new council. This will not shut down development, but instead will allow our PB and Council, not the stakeholders, to decide what is best for Ridgewood within a process where residents are given a voice.

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Thank you, once again, for your continued support.

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